Bioengineering junior Emily Kight took second place in the undergraduate tier of Temple University's "Be Your Own Boss Bowl" last Thursday. The competition, hosted by Fox School of Business, gives students and staff a chance to develop their own idea for a business, work with mentors, and create business plans.
Kight continued work on Prohibere, a topical ointment she developed to treat trichotillomania, an impulse control disorder characterized by pulling of hair. After finishing second in the Innovative Idea Campaign in the fall and winning $500, she won $10,000 for finishing second among the undergraduate entries in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute's event. Kight was the only final entrant from the College of Engineering, out of over 450 initial entries.
The idea for the product initially came from a class with Dr. Yah-el Har-el in Bioengineering, where she had to develop an idea for a product. Kight noted Dr. Har-El offered support and a venue to work on her idea. "She gave me feedback on my ideas. I guess that was important because it gave me time. A lot of people have been working on their ideas a lot longer than me. Her class gave me months to develop the formula on my own, make the formula in the lab, and test it. Starting in the fall with her class was really important."
With higher stakes, Kight knew she had to step up her presentation. She found help from Prof. Dwight Carey, an instructor in the Mechanical Engineering Department, who taught one of her classes and has experience working with students in the BYOBB and other competitions. "Getting his input on the pitch was really important to me," she said. "He was on the phone with me two hours before the submission deadline, giving me advice and suggestions. He's started so many businesses so I trusted my instinct on that. I beat out a lot of people to get to the finalist position, probably because of those two hours before [the deadline] when I talked to him."
Prof. Carey worked with her on the outline provided by the IEI. He saw tremendous potential in this presentation. "I liked that she actually had a product," he said. "I like that she had found the product worked, and as a side benefit, that just fell out of the sky, she discovered that the product would help migraine headaches, which is a 31 million person market just in the United States."
Kight is currently pursuing manufacturing options to develop Prohibere and bring it to market, possibly through Amazon. Click here to see more information on her GoFundMe page.